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  • 7/31/2010

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding (Part 3)

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Breastfeeding: The Challenges

Although it is the best nutritional source for babies, breastfeeding does come with some concerns that many new mothers share. Whereas it’s easy from the get-go for some, it can be challenging. Sometimes, both mother and baby need plenty of patience and persistence to get used to the routine of breastfeeding. But all the effort is often worth it in the long run — for both the mother and her baby.

Common concerns of new moms, especially during the first few weeks and months, may include:

Personal comfort. Initially, as with any new skill, many moms feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding. But with adequate education, support, and practice, most moms overcome this. The bottom line is that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.

Latch-on pain is normal for the first week to 10 days, and should last less than a minute with each feeding. But if breastfeeding hurts throughout feedings, or if breasts are sore, it’s a good idea for breastfeeding mothers to seek the help of a lactation consultant or their doctor. Many times, it’s just a matter of using the proper technique, but sometimes pain can mean that something else is going on, like an infection.

Time and frequency of feedings. There’s no question that breastfeeding does require a substantial time commitment from mothers. Then again, many things in parenting do. Some women may be concerned that nursing will make it hard for them to work, run errands, or travel because of a breastfeeding schedule or a need to pump breast milk during the day.

And breastfed babies do need to eat more often than babies who are fed formula, because breast milk digests faster than formula. This means Mom may find herself in demand every 2 or 3 hours (maybe more, maybe less) in the first few weeks.

This can be tiring, but once breastfeeding has been established (usually in about a month), other family members may be able to help out by giving the baby pumped breast milk if Mom needs a break or is going back to work outside the home. And it's not long before babies feed less frequently and sleep through the night (usually around 3 months).

Also, with a little organization and time management, it becomes easier to work out a schedule to breastfeed and/or pump.

Source: kidshealth.org


Other links:

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy (Part 1)

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy (Part 2)

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy (Part 3)

Weight loss should not be hurried in new moms

Pacifiers prevent breastfeeding success

Baby smile gives mom a natural high

Omega-3 improves baby brain power

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